Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Wonderland!

The tree was cut yesterday. We didn't get around to pulling it inside and placing it in the stand until this morning. As it had snowed last night - indeed it is snowing still - the branches were stuck with frozen snow that wouldn't brush off. Cold puddles on the tiles were a major feature of today's activity.

The Man of the Place went off to visit assorted aunts and cousins near Sunderland today. George and I shopped closer to home. When we returned, the snow looked so pretty that it was required that we go and have a romp in it. Naturally as I am a grown woman, I called it "walking the dog".The chickens are in there somewhere . . . . but where?
Ah, I see them!

Poor things - huddled out of the snow. Don't worry about them though. They still have food and water. I bring the water can in each night and place it by the kitchen door. This way, the hens don't have to try to peck at ice. I check for eggs twice a day in the coldest parts of winter as a frozen egg is of no use to anybody. The shell cracks as the egg expands and must be thrown out.
The lane looking north from our place. Notice Polly having a romp. She bloody LOVES snow!A view of our place in the snow. I love the blue light that one gets in the snow at twighlight.
The lane up to the (now frozen) duck ponds. We saw loads of pheasant tracks in the snow, but little else. Polly smells something in there - it is so exciting!

Photo of yours trulyand fair George

Now that the tree has had the day to drip dry, we're going to set about decorating it!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


First thing - I FOUND my camera! Edinburgh at night - I think if you click on the photo, you can see Edinburgh Castle in the distance, up on the hill.

The camera was in a little and seldom used side pocket of my handbag. See? Proves my point that smaller handbags are better. The handbag I am using at the moment is much large than ones I have used in the past and I'm not liking it. In addition, if one is going into town for a boozy night with your pals, you really shouldn't take a camera as you may lose it.
This is at my friend Nina's place in Livingston on Thursday night. The roads were not plowed and I was so glad that we were taking the train into Edinburgh instead of driving.
Merry bunch of work colleagues - before the copious amounts of wine set in . . . .

Then more snow yesterday . . . . The road in front of our house.Another merry bunch! - the Dive Club Christmas party - We had squeaky balloons that we used to launch at other tables at the hotel.
Alex - in stylish Christmas cracker hat - Our drive - Doesn't it look so Christmassy?

Friday, December 18, 2009


I've been laid off.

I went out last night in Edinburgh with my now former colleagues to say farewell. I got a bit squiffy and left my camera somewhere. It's a shame as there were some nice photos of all the snow in Edinburgh.

I've known about the impending layoff for a while. I was hoping that with my glowing record of success in the pharmaceutical industry, I'd have a new job in moments. *sigh*

Now it seems that companies have stopped interviewing in the run up to Christmas. I'll have to wait until January to continue my hunt.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Old Favourites!

This is my favourite view of our place, tucked into a Scottish hillside.

This weekend is all about comfort for me. I made comforting foods for my family to eat, onion soup and lasagne. I served the food up on the most robust plates ever made, Corelle by Corning. The plates were wedding presents when The Man of the Place and I were married over 17 years ago. Sure there are a few that are showing signs of wear, but there are few broken. The plates lived through a lively family with kids who resented having to wash the dishes. Sometimes the dishes took the brunt of their resentment. Lesser plates are no longer in service. Though the pattern has dimmed over time, the Corelle plates are still plugging away. I think the pattern is no longer available so I can't buy the few items to replace the ones that did manage to break, but there are still plenty of plates to set the table, plus occasional guests.

We have had a rare, dry weekend. My family and I have been enjoying the fact that there is less mud in our lives these days. When the rain starts again tomorrow - naturally we can't have more than three dry days together, I won't be inundated with mud at the back door because the finishing layer of gravel is down. I wish we had done this YEARS ago! It looks so much better around here and (forgive me for repeating myself) there is LESS MUD!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

New Gravel!

We've had a LOT of rain. It is official. This is the wettest year since records began. There has been flooding in the area as well. Our house is on a hill so we are in no danger of rising water but that doesn't mean that the ground hasn't been completely saturated!

The Man of the Place and I were sick to the back teeth of rain and mud. We can't stop the rain, but perhaps we can manage the mud a bit better. The drive and yard are getting new gravel.

First the ancient and crumbling concrete was scraped up and hauled away. Bits of the old cobbled yard, from the days when Whitelees Cottage used to be the location of a lumber mill (between the wars) Then a new sub-base of scrapings from our local quarry was dumped and leveled. Later on we will get nice finished gravel to make it all look lovelier.

Meanwhile in the house, the pets compete for the best spot in front of the fire.Polly has won this round.

I love having friends that own heavy machinery. Stuart has a JCB, Innes has a heavy duty trailer. Gamekeeper Mike doesn't own any heavy machinery that I know of, but he did bring me a couple brace of pheasants that were shot yesterday. I couldn't take Polly out for a walk yesterday as there was a pheasant shoot on. This little gift makes up for it!!

As I write this, our cat Julio is out in the tunnel, yowling at the pheasants. I think he wants to eat them . . . . sorry Julio.